No other night is New Year’s Eve. On a very literal level, the reasons for that are obvious. But there is still something very special about the last evening of the year and the promise of the year ahead that only exists at 12:00:01.
Getting to that point isn’t easy though. Everyone wants to have an awesome New Year’s but no one can ever seem to figure out what to do, which is why you hear so many people say they “hate New Year’s” or deride it as “amateur night,” as legendary New York City barkeeper Toots Shor once did. But you also don’t hear folks bragging about how they stayed home and watched the ball drop solo.
So let’s squash that idea. You’re going out. And it’s going to be awesome. Now you just have to figure out what to wear. Picking out an outfit for New Year’s isn’t as easy as other nights because there’s so many other factors at play. You don’t want to wear your best shoes because there’s a good chance someone could throw up on them, or at the very least, spill cheap champagne on them. On New Year’s your clothes become like pieces of sports equipment, designed to serve a purpose beyond just looking good.
And since you’ve got enough to worry about with figuring out which party to go to and deciding which woman you want to be next to when the clock strikes midnight, we decided to help out and pull together a New Year’s Eve wardrobe that will turn heads when you walk in the door and still look sharp when you walk out the door and be ready for everything else that happens in between.
THE SUIT: PERRY ELLIS 360 ACTIVE JACKET AND SIDE PANEL PANT
$225 (jacket), $125 (pants), perryellis.com
On New Year’s, you want to look pulled together but not too stuffy. That’s what makes the suit with a T-shirt such a strong look. But you also don’t want to feel constricted in your suit. Perry Ellis’s 360 collection incorporates performance fabrics and details to traditional tailored silhouettes. These jacket and pants are made with four-way stretch fabric so you can bust out your Drake dance moves when “Hotline Bling” comes on. They are also water resistant so having a drink spilled on you won’t ruin the night.
THE PERFECT T-SHIRT: JOHN ELLIOTT MERCER
With the exception of bruises, black and blue makes for a great combination. This navy T-shirt from John Elliott has an incredibly soft feel, and will look sharp under a black suit. The asymmetrical hem that is slightly longer in the back than front is a cool detail that will only be revealed when it reaches that point in the night when you ditch the suit jacket.
THE SNEAKER: VANS LEATHER OLD SKOOL
The low-top Old Skool is a can’t-miss silhouette. This version adds the right level of refinement to the traditional skate shoe by combining a navy leather upper with a hickory stripe lining. It’s a sleek, monochromatic shoe that looks more expensive than it is, so even if they get trashed during the party you won’t feel too bad.
THE STANDOUT JACKET: NOAH REVERSIBLE MILITARY COAT
At the end of the night, everyone will drunkenly try to explain their black jacket to the beleaguered coat check person. So it’s important to wear a coat that stands out from the crowd, while still being tasteful. The olive color on this coat from Noah, the brainchild of former Supreme creative director Brendan Babenzien, will pop in a sea of black and it’s reversible so if it gets stained on New Year’s you can simply flip it around. The insulation is made from cashmere fiber so you’ll stay warm while waiting endlessly for your Uber to arrive.
THE WATCH: SHINOLA THE BRAKEMAN CHRONO
Of all the nights, this is one where you want to know what time it is without having to grab your phone (and depleting its precious battery). With an elegant midnight blue dial and a rose gold case, this is a distinguished dress watch that is rugged enough to stand up to a night of partying. Its quartz movement is built in Detroit and is highly accurate so you won’t be the one still counting down while everyone else is already singing “Auld Lang Syne.”
THE JUICE: MOPHIE POWER RESERVE
New Year’s Eve could easily be called The Night Millions of Phones Die. Between all the “Where you at?” and “Happy fucking New Year’s” texts you send and the party shenanigan photos you snap, your phone’s battery is going to get sucked up real quick. Mophie’s Power Reserve quickly resuscitates your dead phone. It’s small enough to stash in your pocket so that all your friends don’t beg you to borrow it.
THE PROTECTION: CONDOMS
Prices vary, drugstore.com
If your New Year’s Eve party looks like it’s going to keep going through New Year’s Day brunch, then make sure you’re prepared. Because you don’t want to start 2016 off by having an awkward conversation with a pharmacist about the Plan B pill like Aziz Ansari in Master Of None.